tv Interview with Representative Claudia Tenney CSPAN March 26, 2017 10:45pm-11:01pm EDT
mother, grandmother. that combination laid the foundation to where i sit today. and basically what they did is they stressed the importance of values, the difference between right and wrong, always being positive for people, always trying to work together and make a difference. that foundation has led to wherein today. host: thank you sir, for your time. >> thank you for this opportunity. appreciate it. announcer: representative claudia tenney recently sat down with c-span for a profile interview. she is serving her first term representing the 22nd congressional district of new york. >> congresswoman tenney, when did you begin your political career and why? rep. tenney: i got politics into -- people are surprised when they know i wanted to be an artist. ended up becoming a lawyer. ran our business, and all of a
sudden i am in politics. i think it started in 2003. i was running our family business and we were anticipating selling it and i actually assisted the former state assemblyman with his campaign but i also assisted his a fun of because i was running a newspaper selling advertising to anyone and everyone that i consulted because our typical customer was locally owned and operated businesses and many were being displaced and going out of business is by big-box and big chain stores. so i returned to politics and was looking for every avenue to raise our advertising revenue is what was going on and when the assemblyman won his racy of me if i would be as cheap as steph and i said have time to do that. i am legal counsel. at the time, my father had catastrophic health issues. he was in eight wheelchair living across the street.
he was the supreme court justice working full-time. my mother had other health issues. i was caring for them, running our family business and raising my son is a single mother. taking on another obligation was not something i thought it a deal he and he said, no, think you're a natural. you would be great at it. we can work out your issues but i think you would be a great as it my team. i joined in 2003 and worked for him for about six years and when he retired in 2010, i ran for the assembly in new york state and i challenged in defeated our republican chairman and a primary source running against the establishment from day one and then in 2012 we went through reapportionment and redistricting a date created the longest district in the history of new york state just for me because i was not really fitting in with the establishment republicans and actually had a lot of democratic support, believe it or not. so, i was able to win a primary and a general election to retain that seek which was very
difficult because the district was so long. osama's toys as long as the district i now have in congress. so, i felt new york state was just getting really frustrating. although i would like to think i really stood out as a member and fought corruption. i stood out as an independent voice. i was the first person to call for the resignation of corrupt speaker sheldon silver who is now facing a jail sentence. i also stop against the former senate majority leader who was a republican and really took a position against corruption and really try to stand for the middle class and citizens i represented in my district. i just got on this mission of trying to do the right thing because honestly i got tired of politicians saying there were going to stand for something and not do it in albany. so i took on the battle in washington because i kind of felt the same way about a lot of the washington politicians. so iran and challenged our former congressman and 2014 in a primary. i lust by a very narrow margin.
much to my surprise, i was shocked because i threw my name and that the last minute and had very little of no funding against one of the wealthiest members of congress and he spent over $3 million. i had about 180,000 mostly my own money. mostly a grassroots team. i was shocked at the results. i wasn't sure i would never run again but i ended up running and 2016. i faced enormous opposition from the republican establishment. had to win a primary in a three-way with millions of dollars spent against me again. i raise not much more than i had raised in 2014 so i was really like, this is ridiculous but i ended up winning the biome is 10 points. to the general election, another three-way against to self-funding literally -- both worth at least $100 million each -- much to my surprise, they spent almost 12 main combined against me and i was still able to pull it out so for me it is
really just trying to do the right thing for my constituents. i have always run as if i were trying to do the same thing rather than trying to get reelected or not. i don't know if it comes from my mother father, the brutal honesty of my mother or mike father's determination to find it positive and a lot of things. it has just driven me to really try to do that so here i am. who knows if i am a one-termer? i'm here. >> where you serve? what committee? rep. tenney: i serve on the criminal justice committee. before i ran our family business i was a bank attorney, represented a number of banks and financial institutions in my area. i think it is a important industry to give access to our small business community. as a small business owner i am acutely aware of those needs. as our business struggles, what
remains of our's is, we sold our newspaper division in 2004 but we still have a time cynical packaging company that was started 70 years ago and we want to -- you know, we are one of the very few manufacturers left in the state of new york especially in my district. i mean, summary people have left. we want to try to make new york a better place to do business. we know the small business community is where the good jobs are being found and the end great more jobs than some of the bigger concerns that are getting benefits of subsidies and government funding just to stay in new york. part of the symptoms, the cronyism, the pay-to-play schemes that have kind of plagued new york in my time in assembly and i am fighting that, is something i would like to find ways a financial services member to make it more viable again to bring our small this is a back and before the interview i mentioned to you we want to have some of the great businesses. ibm is funded in my district. we had griffis airport base.
general electric. the textile industry was really well-known along the air canal and upstate new york. oneida limited was founded in new york state at one of the things i showed you with some flatware from liberty manufacturing, a number of young , two young guys actually, to former al qaeda employees who are entrepreneurial started what is liberty tabletop and they produced the only flatware made in the united states right in my district. we would love for the president to use that as the white house silver, but we are still working on that and would like to make sure everyone understands there is the ability for industry to come back to new york. we make is really well. the united states is still the best producer of all goods and services in the world and we would like to make sure we continue on that mission. i think president trump is someone who has talked about how important it is to rebuild jobs.
to bring back the spirit of entrepreneurship. and also, just a good working men and women we have in our areas whether they're in the material -- military producing goods and services, firemen, police, with such a great workforce we want to bring them back to new york where we have seen colossal losses in terms of population and industry. that is part of what my mission is. i mean, i love to go into my district every week and find people are making things and contribute to our community. so it has been really excited. the party gets me excited about being a member. i dental services gives us the ability to bring back financing and to give us the credit we need to keep the stops coming back. >> another job is remington. rep. tenney: yes. the only one in new york state. they produce guns, obviously, for the military, poor sportsman, and for personal
protection. they were founded in new york and we would like to keep them. they have had setbacks now and then. some recent layoffs because the economy is down but we also have a very negative viewpoint from our governor and from simon new york about the second amendment -- some in new york about the second amendment, so we want to make sure we advocate for the second amendment. also revere copper and brass. a good friend of mine is the ceo. he has huge pride in america. really supports bringing jobs back to our immunities and they do fabulous work and have pretty good-sized business right in rome, new york. so, we do have a lot going on in our district. we want to continue to grow it and resent our great assets. >> what are your priorities? rep. tenney: we would like to
see some sort of change in obamacare. repeal and replace with a consumer-driven model that works for our middle class, the most needy, into the seniors who have lost a lot of resources and funding because of the rating of medicare to provide funding for the aca. we also have huge medicaid expansion in new york state's a whip to be cut doesn't of that. we have to make sure we -- we also have huge medicaid expansion in new york state. we have to make sure we do not cut that. i have copies of the bill, so if you want to read it before we build on it. also, plain language of each revision. for a nonlawyer to read that is challenging. we have done everything we can to make sure the public knows. i remain undecided on where i am going to with the bill right now. that is a priority.
we like to bring back some of the provisions of dodd-frank that have heard our banking system. or the ability of our community banks to lend. those are some of our priorities. >> you mention your father. new york state supreme court justice john tenney. what did he or did he influence your going to law school or your interest in law? you said his passion for doing things the right way. making the right choices. what did he tell to you? how did he inspire you? rep. tenney: my father was a really interesting person. he grew up in total poverty in new jersey. he was the first to go to college. they never had anything. their father was stricken with polio. this is the story they tell me. we always had to say we are not sure how true it is. he is some kind of debilitating disease. when uncle said was polio, another said was something else.
my grandfather was born in ireland, i know that for sure. that is all i know for sure. he was unable to work. they had some sort of cottage industry raising chickens in the house. thankfully, we did not have chickens and our house. the chick-fil-a people probably would not be happy about that. but, he never cared to chase dollars. he wanted to provide for our family. he cared about doing the right thing and having integrity. he was known for that as a judge. he was very strong and always said to me, you know, never be a victim. always try -- you know, fight the battles. be willing to lose in order to make sure you're standing for the right thing. that is something with me, i have never really feared all your or losing. i have looked at it as a learning experience. i know the victimhood thing, i
notice it can hurt people, it holds them back when they are worried about focusing on what the negatives are. i have always been inspired by holocaust survivors because they are so amazingly inspirational. they focus on the people that are helping them. they focused on the positives, the people that are helping them not the people that are shooting them are hurting them. my father was for cabinet was in spurgeon for me. although i have always lived my life thinking, if i'm going to be living somewhere and getting cat food summer, i am always wary about that so i am always very careful about making sure i take her of myself and my family and i think that is part of why i stayed in utica. to make sure i took care of my parents. i stayed with my son and utica to make sure he was close to his father, and my family and me. i thought it was important to stay with my family, to support my family business, to support our community.
you know, i had a lot of great opportunities and privileges. i am really on it by them, you know? i have been very grateful. >> thank you very much for telling our viewers about yourself. announcer: c-span's "washington journal," life every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, washington examiner white house lola willent and mike talk about what the house republicans face for a replacement health care bill. and the government accountability office german will look at waste, fraud, and abuse in government. be sure to watch "washington journal," beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern monday morning. join the discussion. "q&a" withnext, author and columnist thomas
sewall. then theresa may takes questions from the house of commons. then we will show her remarks and those of foreign secretary boris johnson following the terror attack outside parliament. ♪ announcer: this week on "q&a," author and hoover institution senior fellow thomas sewall. he recently ended his syndicated column and he talks about his life and career, and his love of photography. >> dr. thomas sowell, you wrote this at the end of 2016. age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why i am quitting, but